ThunderBolt 3 SSD Drive Enclosures For Mac - PC

ThunderBolt 3 Solid-State Drive Cases

Drive Enclosures With Thunderbolt 3 Ports

It's been a rocky start waiting for fully Apple compatible Type-C Thunderbolt 3 drive cases, enclosures and docks. Some Mac users will want to build their own ThunderBolt 3 backup drive using the off-the-shelf HDD hard disks or SSD solid-state drives of their preference. We're seeing many external backup drive manufacturers quickly switching to the Type-C port for SuperSpeed Plus USB 3.1 based drives, but far fewer offering full 40Gbps Thunderbolt3 enclosures and drives.

While the 1st-generation 10Gbps ThunderBolt storage market made a fairly painless and quick transition to 2nd-generation 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 chipsets, the transition to TBolt3 is more complex. It invovled changing from the mini-DisplayPort port interface to Type-C connectors and simultaneous support for 10Gbps USB 3.1 data streams. Major modifications to the PCB - Printed Circuit Board are needed to accommodate next-gen 40Gbps Type-C Thunderbolt 3 chipsets and spec-certified component modifications to operate reliably at such high data transfer rates.

Akitio Thunderbolt 3 Enclosures

Akitio Thunder3 RAID Dual Drive Enclosure

40G TBolt3 + 10G USB 3.1 Support


This 40Gbps Type-C Thunderbolt 3 dual-bay external drive case from Akitio is designed for both 2.5" SSDs where speed is the primary concern, or 3.5" full-size desktop hard drives for those who want to maximize their storage capacity. A durable dark aluminum casing provides excellent heat dissipation. It also has a large rear fan to keep the drives cooler for reliability and longer life. It combines the latest generation Type-C Thunderbolt 3 interface in combination with SATA III SSD drives that can be configured as a hardware RAID 0, RAID 1, SPAN or Non-RAID disks. Akitio's Thunder 3 RAID enclosure is poised to deliver EXTREMELY fast Read/Write throughput over 2000MB/s. The Thunder 3 also features dual, daisy-chainable Type-C Thunderbolt 3 Ports for other ThunderBolt 3 peripherals and displays.

Akitio Thunderbolt 3 RAID Enclosure

4 2.5" or 3.5" SATA HDD or SSD Drive Bays


OWC Thunderbolt 3 RAID Enclosure

OWC 4-Drive Thunderbolt3 Enclosure

Quad 2.5" or 3.5" SATA III Drive Bays


OWC offers a similar Type-C Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with software RAID and JBOD configuration flexibility. You could configure a multi-drive RAID 0 array for maximum, high-performance or in a RAID 1 config for data-redundancy. With four drive bays at your disposal you can opt to install hard drives, SSDs, or a combination of both. One might setup two or three drives using a sofrware RAID app, but perhaps leave any remaining drives in independent JBOD mode, or setup two dual drive software RAIDs.

ThunderBolt 3 PCIe SSD Card Chassis

A growing range of PCI card ThunderBolt3 chassis open the possibility of quickly assembling a high-speed ThunderBolt3 SSD drive with off the shelf PCIe solid-state drives like the Intel 750. There are many other PCI cards that support a wide variety of mSATA, M.2, SATA III and other drives/modules of your choosing.

Akitio Thunder3 Node PCI Card Chassis

Affordable ThunderBolt 3 Enclosure With Many Drive Card Choices


Intel 750 PCIe NVMe SSD Card

800GB 4-Lane PCIe Storage


Oyen Digital Thunderbolt 3 'Compatible' SSD RAID Enclosure

Many manufacturers are marketing thier USB 3.1 Type-C drive storage hardware as "Thunderbolt 3 Compatible" which it is - since a TBolt 3 port transmits both Thunderbolt AND USB 3.1 protocols. For many users the 10Gbps speeds of USB 3.1 Gen2 will be more than fast enough and save significant money over the price-premium enclosures with Thunderbolt3 chipsets have.

Oyen Digital USB-C RAID Enclosure

Dual 2.5" SSD Bays - USB 3.1 Type-C Connection
Above we see Oyen Digital's affordable dual SATA III SSD enclosure which lets you pair your choice of 2.5" laptop SSD's into a fast and affordable external Thunderbolt3 'compatible' backup drive solution.